A couple of weeks ago my workout buddy and great photographer Tess Fluit wrote an Instagram post about her process as an entrepreneur and opportunities. The last line of her post was:
“Zaaien en oogsten. Het is een eindeloos proces.”“Sowing and reaping. It is an ongoing process.”
It struck a chord with me.
About my own life, the things that I’ve done, the things I do now. Even though at times I feel a little lost, or stuck, or as if I’m standing still — I’m really not. Over the past ten years, and perhaps all my life thanks to my parents and my environment, I have been sowing and reaping, sowing and reaping.
Endlessly putting in work, and reaping the benefits of it later, in all these different ways, shapes or forms. Sowing. Just throwing things and seeing what will grow out of them.
I’ve Been Sowing All This Time
I’ve been writing on the Internet since I was a teenager. For the past 12 years I have been writing in English. It’s been 8 years on The Self Help Hipster.com. I’ve been writing in Dutch for the last two years too. I’ve been honing my writing skills, my visibility, my areas of expertise. With every blog, every well-received and every ill-received one, with every line, I’ve been putting in the work.
I’ve been putting out podcasts, doing dumb things on Instagram like oversharing my cat and ranting about automated replies, I’ve been making jokes and friends on Twitter. I’m visible, friendly and happy to help out.
Things have grown from there.
A moderate following here and there, people who get a kick or a laugh out of something I made or said. An ebook sale or a compliment so heartfelt I am buzzed all day long. The book I got to write, which is the only thing I wanted since I was a kid: to become a writer and write books. The fact it went to second print, relatively quickly. The fact that people still buy it, still DM me about it.
The friends that I have made. The interesting and sometimes even life changing conversations that have happened.
You Sow Everywhere, All The Time, Through What You Do
And this is not just about the Internet and the writer stuff. I had worked in higher education and gaining experience with students and their struggles for almost six years before I was an excellent fit for my new job as student counselor. I’ve tried to be kind, friendly and honest with the people that I meet, not with a goal but just because that’s who I am and want to be; but I’m allowed to hope that I can reap the same treatment from those around me when it matters.
I’ve invested in relationships, in myself in all these tiny little ways. From reading to relaxing to talking. I’ve gained peace, confidence, conflict resolution (or explosion) skills that now keep me feeling secure within myself in difficult situations. I sow by learning, by doing, by asking, by researching, by acting.
Sure, sometimes things don’t work out. Not everything you wanted to reap will come to fruition. At least not right away, not in the way you expected, not in the way you wanted.
But who knows what you’ll reap (later on) anyway. Even if it’s just a lesson.
Keep Moving Forward (Keep Sowing)
Akil said: “As long as you keep moving forward, things will keep happening and happening. That’s the flow people keep talking about. You have to keep making moves, and things will keep moving.” I agree.
And so I’ll keep sowing.
With little actions, and with big moves. Every day, in whatever way is appropriate with whatever is before me.
Staying on the course I want to be on, without worrying so much about the outcome, without expecting too much or too little, or within a timeframe or on a schedule.
I just want to keep sowing.
It’s all I want to focus on, because the reaping happens automatically, at a pace and in a way that is not in my hands. I can’t predict what will pay off and what won’t, and how it will benefit me or not. So I shouldn’t bother thinking about that too much.
Keep Sowing, whatever you reap.
Sowing and reaping. It’s an ongoing, endless process. – Tess Fluit